If you want the court grant you relief, or order your spouse / ex-spouse / child’s other parent to do something, the typical process takes several weeks. You must obtain a hearing date, file with the family court certain documents, send copies of the documents to the other party, and then wait for the family court to issue the order. Often, the court cannot offer a hearing date that is less than four to six weeks off. Add to that the amount of time the court requires to issue its order after the hearing, which can vary from several days to three months.
In emergency situations, the court will grant relief without that delay. Of course, the court must be moved with the compelling nature of the request to issue an expedited order. Domestic abuse orders for protection are granted in such circumstances. Emergency custody orders may result from abusive situations, or cases in which one parent is depriving the other parent of all contact with a child. Dire financial needs may also be addressed with an expedited order.
It is important to consider the fact that the family court is unwilling to grant expedited relief in all but the most compelling circumstances. The family court sees dozens of cases each week, and unfortunately, most people in need of expedited relief must nevertheless wait several weeks for the court to issue an order.